Learning outcome: Increased knowledge of a model for preparing nursing students to care for patient populations using telehealth technologies.
Purpose: This project provided telehealth education to enhance nursing students’ knowledge and understanding of how to address patients’ healthcare needs remotely and develop plans of care. With changes in the delivery of healthcare due to a global pandemic, federal COVID grant funds were obtained to purchase new telehealth equipment, train nursing faculty, and implement telehealth technology into AASN/BSN curriculum. The purpose of this education was to prepare students to respond to COVID-19 by enhancing their readiness to utilize telehealth technologies.
Description: Telehealth/COVID education was developed by the simulation/IPE coordinator in collaboration with nursing faculty. It was offered across two campuses, in three courses among two pre-licensure nursing programs. The education was delivered using flipped classroom, virtual and/or in-person simulation. Learning objectives included demonstration of collaborative practice as well as identifying the economical, legal, and ethical influences in healthcare delivery using a telehealth platform. Students completed an online educational module, telehealth equipment training and simulation or flipped classroom activity. Telehealth knowledge was assessed before and after participation. The virtual simulation (1 hour) focused on COVID screening using an artificial intelligence driven simulation platform. The flipped classroom (1.5 hours) and in-person simulation (2 hours) focused on telehealth nursing practice where students utilized telehealth technologies with a standardized patient to perform assessment, collaborate with an interdisciplinary team, provide patient education, and develop a plan of care to meet the patient’s needs.
Evaluation/outcome: Learning objectives were achieved: 120 pre-licensure nursing students gained telehealth experience and applied new knowledge and skills to deliver patient-centered care using telehealth technology.
A validated tool (SET-M), was used to evaluate BSN students’ attitudes, preparedness and confidence levels regarding the pre-briefing, simulation scenario, and debriefing sections following each activity. Analyses focused on the percentage of students who selected “strongly agree” for each of the survey items. In general, the in-person telehealth simulation had higher results (64% to 91% strongly agreed to items on the scenario section) compared to the virtual simulation (39% to 61%). The virtual telehealth simulation platform appeared less effective in the application of knowledge and skills across all categories. The highest scoring category identified in the virtual simulation was preparedness to respond to changes in patients’ conditions (61%). Students reported low confidence in feeling empowered to make clinical decisions (39%). For the in-person simulation, the highest scoring category among third-year students was teaching patients about their illness and interventions (91%) and among second-year students was practicing clinical decision-making skills (79%). Students reported low confidence in their nursing assessment skills and feeling empowered to make clinical decisions (64%).
By utilizing the nursing process and telehealth technology, students were prepared to respond to COVID-19 and develop plans of care to address patients’ needs remotely. These simulation activities were beneficial in preparing students for what they will encounter in the future of patient-centered care. This can serve as a model to other nursing programs’ for developing education on telehealth technology.